4. Route, ol
The Hemali, who belong
to one of the orders of der¬
vishes (p. lxvii), are also
engaged in selling water,
which they flavour with
orange-blossom (zakr), while
others use liquorice ('erk-
sus) or grape-juice (zeblb).
There are also numerous
itinerant vendors of different
kinds*of fruit, vegetables,
and sweetmeats, which to
Europeans usually look very
uninviting. Lastly, there are
itinerant cooks, with port¬
able kitchens, who sell small
meat-puddings, fish, and
other comestibles, and
whose customers eat their
dinners sitting cross-legged
by the side of the street.
Most of theArabian Bar¬
bers have their shops open
to the street. Their principal occupation consists in shaving the
heads of their customers in Oriental fashion, an art in which they
are very expert.
Several times during the day and also at night the solemn and
sonorous cry of the mueddin, summoning the faithful to prayer (see
p. lxiii), reverberates from the tops of the minarets. When the
shops are shut the watchmen (bawwdb) place their beds (serlr) of
palm-twigs in the streets outside the entrances, and prepare to spend
the night there ; sometimes they have only mats or rugs to sleep on.
The street-traffic ceases in the Arab quarters comparatively early,
while in the European districts it goes on till nearly midnight. But
during the month of Ramadan it continues throughout the whole
night even in the Arab quarters.
The traveller will frequently have occasion to observe the Schools
(kuttdb),oi which there are about 300 in Cairo, with 8-9000 scholars,
and one of which is attached to almost every public fountain. He
will find it very amusing to watch the efforts of the pklh, or school¬
master , in teaching his pupils with the aid of admonitions and
blows, while the boys themselves recite verses of the Koran with
a swaying motion of their bodies, bending over their metal writing
tablets, and yet finding time for the same tricks as European school¬
boys. It is not advisable to watch the fikih too closely, as he is
easily disconcerted and is then apt to be uncivil.